In an effort to bolster its offensive output, New York City FC has signed Héber Araujo dos Santos from Croatian side HNK Rijeka.
Known as Héber, the 27-year old was acquired by the Major League Soccer side using Targeted Allocation Money.
“I’m feeling super motivated for this new challenge in my life. I hope to reach great things with my new teammates for this club,” he told NYCFC.com. “When they showed me the project and what they plan to reach, those were the fundamental points that helped my decision to come to NYCFC. I saw the project and the whole structure, videos about the league and the city, these were all very important aspects.”
Héber joined HNK Rijeka in 2017 and scored 25 goals in 38 appearances for the club. In the 2017/18 season, he won the “SN Yellow Shirt Award,” the highest honor awarded to a Croatian first division player. He received the award after a season in which he played and scored in the UEFA Champions League qualifying stages. The Brazilian also led Rijeka to the UEFA Europa League group stages that same season.
Claudio Reyna, NYCFC’s Sporting Director, noted that his new signing has mobility and the pace to run in behind the opposing defense.
“He has a really good nose for the goal and can score in many different ways,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having Héber join the team. He’s going to bring a new element to our attack that is going the be exciting.”
Prior to his time in Croatia, Héber played in the Armenian Premier League for Alashkert where he earned the title of top goalscorer for the 2015/2016 season. That earned him a move to NK Slaven Belupo where he scored 10 goals in 30 appearances, prompting the move to Rijeka.
Domènec Torrent, NYCFC’s head coach said of the signing, “It’s been a priority for the Club to sign a striker this season and we’re very happy to welcome Héber. He is a player who is very comfortable inside the opponent’s area and was a proven goalscorer during his time in Europe.”